Grandma Elaine would have been 82 today.
I am her name sake and I couldn't be prouder.
I've never met Grandma,
but I know her...
There have been too many times to count where I have felt her strength,
or seen her in my own mother,
or listened to people talk about how much more fun things would be if she were still around.
From the time I got my drivers license, to the time I moved away from Utah,
I spent countless hours sitting at her grave.
Being there brought me immense peace.
I used to sit on the grass (during the warm months) or in my car (during the cold ones)
and talk to her.
She would always get quite the earful.
I always knew she was listening.
The day Celine was born I felt her there.
I like to imagine Celine, up in Heaven, with her three great-grandmas
as they prepared her to pay us a visit.
I like to imagine that Grandma Elaine was reassuring Celine that although she was coming to two rather incompetent parents, that she would watch out for her and help her out.
Growing up, I often heard my mother say
how much Grandma would love to be present at this event, that game, or that recital.
I also remember her saying how proud Grandma would be of where all of her grandkids ended up.
I hope it's true.
But most of all,
on this birthday,
the people on my mind are her children.
Grandma had to go at the tender age of 48
leaving behind five children ranging in age from 13-28
and I just don't know how you ever recover from that.
But they have, and they have done it well.
Grandma was a grand lady.
On the go constantly,
and heavily involved in the community.
But her greatest tribute is her children.
I know they miss her,
but they've made fabulous people out of themselves
despite the absence of their mother.
And I guess for your 82nd birthday,
there couldn't be any better gift than that.
I just know that she's proud...
and probably drinking a Coke and playing cards.
Love you, Gram.